The 'Beast' is coming back.
After a nearly two-week sabbatical, Alaska star forward Calvin Abueva is set to return to practice on Saturday, putting an end to a mysterious disappearance that has perplexed fans, team officials, and coaches alike.
“Yes, Calvin is returning tomorrow,” said an Alaska insider who requested anonymity.
The same source told SPIN.ph that Abueva will first meet with Alaska team manager Dickie Bachmann and head coach Alex Compton inside their Aces' dugout at the Gatorade Hoops Center Gym in Mandaluyong.
Abueva went AWOL right after playing for the Luzon All-Stars in the PBA All Star Weekend in Batangas City, with personal problem cited as the reason for his unexplained absence.
Lawyer Charlie Chua, the adviser of the gungho forward from Angeles City, told SPIN.ph that Abueva spent a week in Baguio City for some 'soul-searching.'
“Nagpahinga sa Baguio 'yan. Pati nga kami hindi namin makontak kasi talagang mabigat ang problema niya. Alam mo naman yang batang yan pag tungkol sa pamilya na ang problema, mahina yan. Maton sa hardcourt yan pero pag personal na buhay na, mahina yan,” said Chua, a trusted staffer of Abueva’s discoverer Dennis Pineda.
Chua confirmed a 'family problem' led to Abueva's sabbatical.
“Kinausap ko yung bata, nuong una talaga miserable. Pero nung nahismasan na at pinakita ko sa kanya ang mga consequences, ayun, nangako na babalik,” said Chua about his heart-to-heart talk with Abueva last June 3.
“Actually dapat nung Lunes o Martes babalik na 'yan eh. Pero sige nagpakundisyon pa ng kaunti kaya inabot pa ng Sabado bago muling sumulpot sa ensayo. Pero babawi yan,” he added.
Abueva vowed to redeem himself and seek management’s understanding after his ordeal, Chua said.
“Hihingi rin siya ng pasensya sa team kasi nawala siya. Pero hindi biro problema nung bata. Kaya alam ko maiintindihan naman siya. Nangako rin siya sa amin ng tatay tatayan (Pineda) niya na hindi na yan mauulit,” said the chief of staff of the Pampanga vice governor.
Abueva’s brother, Richard Ramsey, also confirmed Abueva’s return.
“Oo, mainam naman at okay na si kuya. Dapat nga kahapon pa siya babalik. Kasi kahit si mama, nakahinga na ng maluwag at babalik na nga daw si kuya. Naipost na ni mama 'yang pagbabalik ensayo nya sa Facebook nya,” said Ramsey.
Abueva’s return is very timely as Alaska has been struggling to keep its form in the absence of another key player, Jeron Teng, who figured in a stabbing incident at the Fort in Taguig a few days ago.
The Aces have a game against Magnolia on Sunday.